We are all guilty of doing stupid, selfish things. We all have a wicked witch within us that, given the right circumstances, will rear its ugly green head and set poor little scarecrows on fire. It’s important to realize the depth of our ugliness so that we can redeem ourselves with the height of our beauty. But it all begins with learning to say, “I’m sorry.”
Apologizing is an art form, and if your marriage is going to work, you’ve got to develop the art. First of all, see a problem for what it is. If trouble develops in your marriage and you truly look at yourself objectively, you may see something that’s pretty darn ugly. Arguments are hardly ever one-sided, so hop in your husband’s skin once in a while and try to see your actions and hear your words through his eyes and ears. You may be surprised when you see that green skin glowing underneath the pretty little pinafore of blamelessness. We are not as faultless as we would like to believe. It takes a lot of guts to step up to the plate and take some blame. But guts are a lot prettier than self-righteousness.
If you are at fault, don’t waste time trying to explain, defend, or rationalize your words and actions. The only phrase that matters is “I’m sorry.” Say it, get it over with, and then you can explain all you want later. Building bridges is often more difficult than tearing them down, but it’s a lot easier to travel over a bridge than through a pile of rubble.
Focus on nurturing yourself through nurturing your marriage. It will all come back to you in waves of joy. This is your primary relationship. It will be the steam in your engine and the wind in your sails. And no amount of energy invested in your marriage is ever, ever wasted. Become fluent in lovers’ talk and reap the rewards for the rest of your life.